I Carry Your Heart with Me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go)
– E.E. Cummings


March 3, 2009: my friend Nykoyen Ekpoudom passed away from a venous thromboembolism, a blood clot in major vein in her leg that broke loose and traveled to her lungs.  It was unheralded and lightning fast – she lost consciousness and fell walking out of her office building in Manhattan. She never woke up.
I never got to say goodbye.

2758_81508697560_3302354_n I can’t believe it’s been six years.

I think about her a lot.

It stuns me that she never got to meet one of the other most important people in my life; my husband, David. She would have approved and having her approval was a big deal.

She would have a lot to say about my current career ambiguity (probably unsolicited.)  She would want to know about the plan I should be working on.

Were she here, she would read every single blog that I write.  She would give thoughtful feedback.

She would covet my new black boots.

She was the kind of friend you just talked to.  About anything.  Goofy or funny or crazy or scary or serious. Good or bad.  And yeah, if you were being an idiot, you could count on Nyk to gently bring that to your attention, but in a “get your *#%^ together – you’re better than that” kind of way. 10400076_68006197560_4408826_n copy Friends serve so many roles in your life – each one is unique and has a different place in your heart.

Nyk was unabashedly my Partner-in-Crime.  We were “sisters from another mister” – almost always up to something. Flirting with some hot boy, crashing a happenin’ party and commanding the room; shopping for completely unnecessary footwear, tossing down a Cosmopolitan or two three.

Off on some crazy adventure in Texas or California or New York.

Sometimes, there was karaoke. 2758_81508712560_1429340_n She was an brilliant business woman, strategically on-point for a stellar international career. Her goal was to always honor her family and her heritage.  She wanted to bring change to her corner of the world.

She would have.

She liked to grab all her girls, weave through the crowds in whatever bar and dance like a dervish in front of the band. She had a thing for drummers.

She had a razor sharp brain, an appreciation for happiness and a deeply kind and generous nature.  She saw the best in people – their true potential. She possessed a rich and rare sense of humor.

2758_81518087560_4352294_n When she traveled, she always packed too many shoes.

She dazzled like a diamond in a sun beam, illuminating every room she walked into.

She would order the craziest combinations of food.  Baked plantains, pickles, french fries and sweet and sour meatballs.  Chili-covered “death” dogs, topped with peppers and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, drowned with diet coke.

She always had my back.

She was my friend.

My life moves on, skirting a Nkoyen-shaped hole in the world.

I miss her. nyk I carry her in my heart.

9 thoughts on “I Carry Your Heart with Me

  1. What lovely tribute to a wonderful friend. My oldest dearest friend died almost thirteen years ago from cancer aged 45. We’d been friends since primary school. I still miss her. But you’re right, we carry our dear friends in our hearts forever. Our lives are better for having known them. Here’s to Nyk and Elspeth and to friendship.


  2. What a wonderful story! I wrote my first book Flipka about a very cherished friend – a very unique person – who died way too young. Love e.e.cummings! Pleased to meet you!


  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kimi. Your friend sounds like a winner all the way. No wonder you carry her essence with her still. This is a precious story, my friend. Here’s to the memory of Nykoyen. ❤


  4. Pingback: To Sir Terry, with Love; | Drunk on Life

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